How would you like it if your visitors landed on your site only to find out it is broken or out of service while you were updating it or changing any layout elements? Wouldn’t that result in a loss of reputation if your precious visitors had no clue about what happened to your website? Of course it would! To avoid such an embarrassing scenario, you must create a proper WordPress maintenance mode page. This page will inform anyone who visits your website during its updating process that it will be out of service for a short period. In this article we are going to delve into the ways you could have such a page on your site and what the advantages of having one are.
What is a WordPress Maintenance Mode Page? Why Do You Need it On Your Website?
From time to time most web pages undergo an upgrading process. The admins or designers of such sites might decide they want to add a new element, test a plugin, or even change the layout of the site entirely. This means that some testing is required. Testing takes time. So in this short period of testing how your site responds to the changes you make, you might want to inform your visitors about the maintenance you’re performing on your site. You can do this by using a maintenance mode page, sure we talking about wordpress site maintenance mode only.
Maintenance mode pages (also known as “Coming soon” pages) are simple pages informing your visitors that your site will be down for a while. That’s it! Plain and simple. These pages often replace your home page or any other landing page on your site temporarily, and they are removed when the maintenance mode reaches its end.
How Can You Create a Maintenance Mode Page on Your WordPress Site?
The answer is profound. Just use HTML. Create the tags, write your message, close the tags and you’re ready to go! “Are you kidding me?” you might think. Of course, we do! Gone are the days when someone had to use any self-made code on their sites to have such basic functionality. There are dozens of WordPress plugins which can create quality maintenance mode pages.
Which Features Should a Good WordPress Maintenance Mode Plugin Contain?
Given the fact that the plugins you could use are really numerous, we provide a list of the criteria a proper “Coming Soon” page plugin for WordPress should contain to be useful:
- It should be clean with proper formatting.
- It should provide you with many configuration options ranging from adding a background image option to text coloring.
- It should contain a countdown timer which would inform your visitors about when the maintenance mode is about to finish.
- It shouldn’t deny access to web crawlers. This is a significant feature. You wouldn’t want to risk your pages suffering ranking losses when you’re upgrading your site.
- It should allow you to work while your visitors only see the “Coming Soon” page. In other words, it shouldn’t deny access to your other pages. You might be wondering if there are plugins who don’t do this. Well, there are. And we came across two or three of them while writing this guide.
- It should contain a redirection option so that you could redirect your visitors to another, working instance of your site, or to another site until your upgrading process has ended.
- An excellent addition for a maintenance mode plugin would be if it provided a subscription-using-email box or the ability to show your social media accounts. This way, visitors who want to get notified when the maintenance of your site ends, could enter their email address or follow you on social media to stay tuned.
Taking all the criteria mentioned above into consideration, we decided to demonstrate a plugin called “WP Maintenance Mode”. In fact, it’s the most popular plugin designed to allow you create beautiful “Coming Soon” pages, with currently over 400000 active installs.
WP Maintenance Mode Installation and Configuration Guide
Now that you’ve got the grasp of what this wonderful plugin can do let’s examine all the steps you need to follow to install and properly configure it.
Step 1: Log in to your WordPress Dashboard.
Step 2: Navigate to Plugins>Add New.
Step 3: Type “WP Maintenance Mode” in the search box at the upper right of your screen.
Step 4: Once you have located the plugin, install it, and activate it.
Step 5: Navigate to Settings>WP Maintenance Mode using the navigation bar in your Dashboard.
Step 6: Activate the plugin (yes you have to do so again!), using the radio button found in the General tab. Take a look at the picture below if you have any difficulty locating the radio button.
That will be all, in the General tab. Click Save Settings at the bottom of the screen.
Step 7: Click on the “Design” tab. From here you will be able to customize the title, content, text color and formatting, as well as the background image of your maintenance mode page. We suggest you to leave the content as it is and to just add a beautiful background image to your page. Locate the Background section and in the “Choose type” menu pick either the “Predefined Background” or the “Uploaded Background” option. The former one allows you to choose a free photo while the latter one allows you to upload a photo you own. We really liked the predefined photos that come with the plugin. Give them a try! When ready, click on the “Save Changes” button.
Step 8: Click on the “Modules” tab. Here you can determine if the “Coming Soon” page has a countdown timer, if it will show a subscription box, and if it will show any social networks in which your visitors will be able to follow you. We really liked the countdown timer option. Feel free to experiment with it. When ready, click Save Changes.
Your maintenance mode page is ready now! It should look like this:
Beautiful, isn’t it? And it only took us 3 minutes to create such a professional result!
This sums up our guide on how to create a maintenance mode page on your WordPress site. We’ve examined what such a page is, why you should use it, and how to find a plugin which can create such pages. We finally learned how to customize the best WordPress maintenance mode plugin, called “WP Maintenance Mode” to create really stunning “Coming Soon” pages on WordPress. Thank you for reading!
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